whilst everyone has been watching Neoshell and now Alpha rise as part of Polartecs new system of fabrics, Powershield – Polartecs softshell contender – has been quietly evolving in amazing new directions. initially sidelined as ‘just another membraned softshell’, Powershield has become its own branch of smart-textile evolution, spawning variants that blow away old ideas about what softshell can be.
the latest Powershields have abandoned their membranes in the wake of Neoshell securing a large part of that sector, taking upon woven weatherproofing that allows for greater vapour permeability and greater stretch. being smart as they are, Polartec also went beyond elastic-based stretch, using a mechanical stretch based on the weave that massively increases performance longevity. long gone are the days of sweaty, heavy and compromised garments requiring less functional panels to allow freedom of movement – Powershield now is a major step closer to a seamless, smart-skin alpine system.
see thru softshell??!!?! the incredible new version of Powershield is so light you can read the data card thru it. a massive development in thermo-regulating fabrics, this stuff is so light and permeable that old notions of what ‘softshell’ can mean no longer apply. membrane-less with 4 way mechanical stretch, combined with Alpha whole new possibilities open up.
another pathway that ups the revs is the way Powershield is being combined with Alpha insulation. no membrane and high breathability makes it a good outer facing when warmth and durability demands more than a pertex shell. since last winter we have been trialling Alpha+Powershield combinations, and tho clunky at first its all come together perfectly. the first versions worked well, but were a bit hefty and the concept hard to get across to alpine users, but recent development in both insulation and fabric has converged successfully.
stre-e-e-e-tch: a true alpine second skin just came a lot more realistic. Powershield combined with Alpha makes for concepts unheard of not long ago